Moratorium on Contributions
December 10, 2016
Last day to accept political contributions before the 2017 Regular Legislative Session.
June 19, 2017
First day to accept political contributions after the 2017 Regular Legislative Session.
The 2017 Regular Legislative Session convenes on January 10, 2017. Please note that December 10, 2016, is the last day on which certain legislators, certain statewide officers, and certain political committees may accept contributions. The moratorium on accepting contributions begins December 11, 2016, and continues through June 18, 2017.
Who is Subject to the Moratorium
The following are subject to the moratorium:
Statewide officeholders, including officeholders-elect, but excluding judicial officeholders;
Members of the legislature, including members-elect;
Specific-purpose committees that support, oppose, or assist a statewide officeholder or member of the legislature; and
However, a statewide officeholder or member of the legislature who was defeated at the November 8, 2016, general election is not subject to the moratorium, nor is a specific-purpose political committee that supports or assists only such an officeholder or member.
Contributions That Are Not Subject to the Moratorium
The moratorium DOES NOT apply to a political contribution that was made and accepted with the intent that it be used:
in an election held or ordered during the period beginning December 11, 2016, and continuing through June 18, 2017, in which the person accepting the contribution is a candidate if the contribution was made after the person appointed a campaign treasurer with the appropriate authority and before the person was sworn in for that office; or
- to defray expenses incurred in connection with an election contest.
Texas Ethics Advisory Opinions Regarding the Moratorium
Whether a particular lawsuit is an “election contest” for purposes of the provision in the Election Code that allows a member of the legislature to accept political contributions during the moratorium period provided for in section 253.034 of the Election Code.
Whether a political committee may issue checks to members of the legislature to replace checks that were given to members before the beginning of the moratorium.
Whether a legislative caucus may continue to receive contributions of personal services during the moratorium period if the agreement to provide the services was entered into before the moratorium period.
Whether a member of the House of Representatives may rely on the exception set out in section 253.034(c) of the Election Code if the member intends to run for the Senate in a special election that has not yet been ordered but which will almost certainly be ordered and held during the 1997 Legislative Session.
Whether incumbent justices re-elected to the Supreme Court and the Court of Criminal Appeals and justices newly elected to those courts in November 1996 may accept political contributions during the period beginning on December 15, 1996, and ending on March 5, 1997.
Whether a statewide officeholder may accept an invitation to attend a fundraiser for a nonprofit organization during the moratorium on political contributions.
Whether section 253.034 of the Election Code, which places a moratorium on certain political contributions before and during the regular legislative session, applies to a state district judge.
Whether a legislator-elect may accept a donation of office space for use as a district office if the use will continue during the period covered by the moratorium on political contributions set out in section 253.034, Election Code.
Whether Section 253.034, Election Code, which places a moratorium on certain political contributions before and during the regular legislative session, applies to a member of the State Board of Education.
Last Revision: October 20, 2016